The activity started as I went to ward after ward, and I sang my usual oldies while trying to engage the patients to clap and sing along. Trust me, I felt like my life was complete at that very instant when some of the patients clapped, gave thumbs up, encouraged and offered me the brightest smiles ever. I was overjoyed that they seemed to be enjoying my presence.
And what truly changed my life was the moment when I was brought to the palliative ward which I was told that the patients might not be able to react to my singing.
Nonetheless, I was eager to enter the place and pray that music can create miracles for the patients.
AND OH BOY, SOMEHOW IT DID. Allow me to share a little positive encounter!
I decided to choose upbeat familiar songs and went to the bedside of a patient. His eyes were open, but he did not really seem responsive when I attempted to interact. Somehow, I knew he could hear me.
"Tian mi mi... " I started the first verse of a song which I personally love. His lips seemed to be moving in a subtle manner, but obvious enough to make me stop in my tracks. Was I seeing things? I thought it was just my imagination but it was not soon after that I heard a weak, soft but audible voice coming from his direction.
I could not believe my ears. When I got to the second verse of the song, he was already singing on tune with me (even with the right lyrics!!) I could tell he must have been a very good singer in his younger days.
I got so emotional and tried hard to control my tears of joy so that I could finish the song with him. When it ended, I looked towards the direction of another volunteer, and walked over to her.
"Oh my God. He sang. He SANG with me! Let's go on with the next song, I'm going to sing more for him!" I exclaimed in a shaky voice.
I went back to his bed side. "Uncle, have you heard of this song called "路边的野花不要踩"? Slowly, he started nodding his head. My heart skipped a beat. "I shall sing this song for you okay?"
And this time, he completed the whole song with me. Yes, his voice was weak but I could hear him clearly. I was overwhelmed. It was not soon after that he could respond to me by nodding his head gently to most of my questions. "You sang really good, Uncle!" I said.
A tiny smile formed on his lips.
I couldn't ask for more in this life.
The moment was phenomenal and surreal. You know the feeling when everything felt like a dream but you are actually living the dream? I could feel tears welling up in my eyes even when I am thinking back of the priceless moment.
Today's experience made me feel so complete and accomplished as a performer - Accomplished in the sense that I am able to light up that little smile on the patients' faces which I never knew I could. Music is wonderful.
It totally took my perspective of life to another level after today and I would definitely love to do it again and again and again and again, just to shine that little bit of positivity onto the patients' life.
Creating miracles through music is something I've always dreamed to do, and I am very honored to be given the opportunity to take that step. My heartfelt thanks to Shaane and his team from St Luke's Hospital (You guys are awesome beyond words!) , and of course not forgetting my dearest friend cum sister, Chloe, for coming along today and supporting the cause. I am very thankful. 感恩。
P/S: I will be preparing more oldies next round and aim to learn songs in different languages to cater to the non-chinese too! I promised a patient that I will prepare her song dedication the next round and I've never felt so motivated in learning it!